05results_5-20.jpg

FARLEY, IA (May 20, 2005)- Off to the best start in his racing career, Scott James of Lawrenceburg, IN continues to impress race fans across the country as the 33 year old second generation driver came from the 12th starting spot to win the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event on Friday Night, May 20 at the "Palace of Speed" the Farley Speedway in Farley, IA. 

James became the new leader of the race on lap 44 when leader Shannon Babb went pitside with motor problems.  James then went on to hold off Brady Smith for his first career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event win.  James earned $10,000 driving the Powell Motorsports, Baylor Trucking, Whitewater Laser Auto Wash, Welsh Excavation, VP Racing Fuels, James Art Design, Hoosier Racing Tires, Jay Dickens powered Rocket Pontiac Grand Prix to the win in the series' first ever visit to the Hawkeye State.  Brady Smith of Solon Springs, WI was second in the AMSOIL/Pro Power/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo for his best career Lucas Oil finish.  Third place went to Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH in the PBM Performance Products/SMS Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo.  Finishing fourth was Terry English of Benton, KY in the AAA Fence Inc/Runion Engines/C.J. Rayburn Monte Carlo and completing the top five was Don O'Neal of Martinsville, IN driving the Well Pict Berries/Jay Dickens Race Engines/C.J. Rayburn Monte Carlo.

Earl Pearson, Jr. would grab the lead at the start of the 50 lap main event from his outside front row starting spot.  Pearson would lead Don O'Neal, Terry English and Kerry Hansen across the stripe for the first scored lap of the race.  Jimmy Marts would quickly find the upper groove on the race track going to fourth around Hansen on lap two bringing Brian Birkhofer along with him.  The first five would remain in the same running order as the cars were quickly making their way around the half-mile track.  The first caution of the race took place on lap 14 when fifth place running Birkhofer stopped in turn two with front end suspension damage ending his night.  One of the cars on the move before the caution was Darren Miller.  Miller had driven from the 16th starting slot up to sixth at the time of the caution.  On the restart Shannon Babb, who began the race in the ninth hole made some unbelievable moves jumping on the gas and sprinting past four cars after the green came out zooming all the way up to second to immediately challenge Pearson for the lead.  A caution for a slowed Donnie Moran on lap 15 would slow the field momentarily, but things were about to heat up.  Miller's fine run ended at this time as he would go to his pit with brake problems.

On the second restart Pearson would lead a circuit, but Babb was up to the challenge passing Pearson on lap 17 to take over the point.   Pearson would go to second with English in third followed by Mars and Scott James, who was up from his 12th starting position.  The exciting racing action would continue as English went by Pearson for second on lap 20 and then started to close the gap on Babb.  English would try several times on the outside of the racy oval to get by Babb with the two running side by side in the corners.  A caution on lap 22 for Mars who stopped in turn two would briefly half the terrific battle for the lead.  On the restart it would be Babb in front with English, Pearson, James and O'Neal the top five drivers.  James would benefit from the Delaware double file restarts as he would get to third on lap 23.  At the halfway point of the race it was still anyone's guess as to who would bring home the top prize among the top five drivers.  Babb would hold off repeated challenges from English with James peering at English's car. The top five would remain in the same running order as the race settled down.  James would make his move for second passing English on lap 34 to gain that spot.  Babb was still in good shape at the point holding a four to five car length advantage over James, English, Pearson and O'Neal.  A caution on lap 42 for Ron Barker would bring the field under the watchful eye of chief starter, Noel Hargis for a restart.  Up front Babb had pretty much held his own and looked to be on his way to the win, but under caution Babb's mount started to show more and more smoke from under the hood as his car was starting to get overheated.  With eight laps to go the green came back out again, but it would be a brief run as someone got into Pearson's left front causing him to lose the steering capabilities of his race car coming out of turn two.  Pearson's car would drift across the race track and Ace Ihm would clip the left side of Pearson's car with result being a racing incident that saw Ihm go flipping several times down the backstretch.  Ihm would emerge uninjured in the wreck, but his car was destroyed.  Ihm had ventured into the top ten and was heading to the front when the unfortunate incident occurred.

With eight laps to go Babb now had several concerns.  Under the red flag for Ihm's wreck Babb pitted with crew members putting more water in the engine trying to cool it down.  Babb would come back out on the track before the yellow was displayed and according to series rules he would return to the front of the field.  On the restart Babb not only had to worry about his motor, but James was now right on him.  Babb would last one more circuit in front until he couldn't go anymore pulling into the pits seeing a good possibility of a win now gone.  James would pick up the lead, but had a fast moving Donnie Moran and Brady Smith to contend with.  Moran had pitted twice during the race, once to change a broken shock and was charging through the field as was Smith, who had also pitted during the race under caution flag.  Moran and Smith would then give James all he wanted in the closing laps as Smith would step up it up to go under and by Moran for second with two laps remaining.  Smith then set sail for James would was only about three car lengths in front of him.  Smith would slice the lead down to one length on the final lap, but James would hold him off for the win in a close finish concluding an exciting race.  Moran finished third followed by English and O'Neal.

A jubilant James and his crew celebrated in victory lane afterwards.  "I want to thank Ron Powell and everyone for making this happen," said the winner afterwards.  "This Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series is tough to win on, there are a lot of great drivers running this deal and we are happy to get this win and this is only the second time we had ever run here." ”At the start of the race I think I fell back to something like 16th out there after some contact with another car on the rear of my race car, but we just settled down and everything fell into place for us.  "I feel bad for Shannon because he drove a good race and I don't know if I would have gotten by him even if he had stayed out there."

Completing the top ten in the running order was Dennis Erb, Jr., Tim Dohm, Kerry Hansen, Dan Shelliam and Shannon Babb.

In preliminary events at Farley, Matt Miller was the Fast qualifier for the 30 entries on hand with a lap of 18.999 seconds.  The Heat Race Winners were Terry English, Earl Pearson, Jr. and Don O'Neal.  The B-Main was taken by Ace Ihm.

Race Summary  Farley Speedway-Farley, Iowa  Friday Night, May 20, 2005  Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series

Fast Qualifier: Matt Miller 18.999 seconds

Heat #1:  Terry English, Brady Smith, Brian Birkhofer, Matt Miller, Tim Dohm, Darren Miller, Steve "Ace" Ihm, Jeff Tharp, Gary Webb, Bobby Moyer, Rusty Patterson

Heat #2:  Earl Pearson, Jr., Kerry Hansen, Jimmy Mars, Dennis Erb, Jr., John Vandenberg, Caley Emerson, Mike Fryer, Todd Davis, Steve Boley, Mike Miller

Heat #3:  Don O'Neal, Donnie Moran, Shannon Babb, Scott James, Curt Martin, Freddy Smith, Dan Shelliam, Johnny Johnson, Matt Mish, Ron Barker

B-Main:  Ace Ihm, Jeff Tharp, Dan Shelliam, Ron Barker, Mike Fryer, Johnny Johnson, Mike Miller, Gary Webb, Bobby Moyer, Rusty Patterson, Steve Boley

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series A-Main (50 Laps):  Scott James, Brady Smith, Donnie Moran, Terry English, Don O'Neal, Dennis Erb, Jr., Tim Dohm, Kerry Hansen, Dan Shelliam, Shannon Babb, Earl Pearson, Jr., Ace Ihm, Ron Barker, Curt Martin, Jeff Fryer, Jimmy Mars, John VanDenBerg, Matt Miller, Jeff Tharp, Darren Miller, Brian Birkhofer, Johnny Johnson, Caley Emerson, Freddy Smith

Race Statistics:  Entries:  30 Cautions: 3; Red Flags: 1 Lap Leaders:  Earl Pearson, Jr. 1-16, Shannon Babb 17-43, Scott James 44-50 Weld Wheels Hard Charger of the Race:  Scott James (Started 12th and finished 1st) Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Race:  Scott James Provisionals:  None

Live Timing

Newsletter Sign-up

* Required